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Linguistics 1: The Phonetics of English


Admission requirements

Not applicable.


This course offers an introduction to the phonetics of modern English. We will examine, amongst other things, the production of speech, the acoustics of speech, and the description and classification of speech sounds. We will also look at how the sounds of English can be transcribed using the International Phonetic Alphabet. Since Linguistics 1 is the first linguistics course in the BA programme English Language and Culture, the first few weeks of the course will be devoted to a general introduction to the field of (English) Linguistics.

Course objectives


  • become acquainted with the aims of (English) linguistics;

  • become acquainted with the terminology needed in the study of phonetics;

  • learn the articulatory and acoustic properties of English speech sounds;

  • learn the symbols needed to do phonemic transcriptions.


The timetables are available through My Timetable.

Mode of instruction

Lecture (1 hour per week) and tutorial (2 hours per week)

Assessment method


Mid-term (written) exam (with short open questions), final (written) exam (with short open questions and essay questions), homework assignments
Attendance is compulsory. Missing more than two tutorials means that students will be excluded from the tutorials. Unauthorized absence also applies to being unprepared, not participating and/or not bringing the relevant course materials to class.


Mid-term exam (30%), final exam (60%), homework assignments (10%). The mid-term exam counts only if the mark obtained for it is higher than the mark obtained for the final exam. If the mark for the mid-term exam is lower than than of the final exam, the final exam counts for 90%. The homework asssignments must be handed in during the course (for this, see the course programme).


To pass the course, a minimum of a 5.5 is required for the final exam. If the mark for the final exam is 5.49 or lower, the exam will have to be retaken during the resit period. There are no resits for the mid-term exam and the homework assignments.

Inspection and feedback

How and when an exam review will take place will be disclosed together with the publication of the exam results at the latest. If a student requests a review within 30 days after publication of the exam results, an exam review will be organized.

Reading list

Knight, Rachael-Anne (2012). Phonetics: A coursebook. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
A syllabus (with additional reading material and the course programme) will be made available through Brightspace before the start of the course.


Enrolment through uSis is mandatory.

General information about uSis is available on the website

NB: First year students will be enrolled by the coordinator of studies. All other students need to contact the coordinator of studies to be enrolled for this course.
Students other than from the BA English language and culture cannot take this course.